Are you a fan of gelatos? Do you want to taste the most authentic gelato made in the entire world? Look nowhere else than Florence, which is rumored to be the originating point of this sumptuous delicacy.
Though the history of gelato’s invention goes back to the 16th century, you will still find many shops using the fresh and raw ingredients in the dessert to satisfy your royal taste buds.
If you like to find out more about gelato, do read our one-stop guide to gelato in Italy too which will let you know more about gelato and also a list of Gelato shops to go around Italy. Find the guide here.
For Florence, to help you taste the original flavors, we have curated a list of places dedicated to mastering the art of authentic gelato making. These destinations offer the best gelatos in Florence that Italians love too!
- Gelateria Perchè No
When someone asks you for a gelato, your obvious answer is, “Why not!”. That is what this little gelateria’s name translates to. Established in 1939, it is a favorite of locals even after eight long decades. When you want a taste of tradition, look no beyond Perchè No that makes yummy gelatos using only the basics - milk, eggs, cream, and fruits. You will also find several vegan-friendly flavors on offer. The Cammilli family, that runs the gelateria, believes in delivering freshness and using only the top-quality ingredients for making the ultimate mouth-watering gelatos. While the classic flavors of pistachio nut and Florentine cream taste great, the innovative ginger, Sacher cake, and green tea flavors are hard to miss.
- Gelateria La Sorbettiera
Antonio Ciabattoni started working in a gelato shop in Germany, owned by his brother and sister-in-law, at a tender age of 16 years. With the art of making gelatos in his blood, he started his very own gelateria with his wife Elisa in Florence. You’ll be amazed to know that he whips up 16 different flavors every single day to serve you with variety. This delightful array of flavors are produced from the best raw materials money can buy. Not only the locals, but people from all over Italy also love the innovative concoctions made by Antonio. Besides the classic flavors like Raspberry and Bronte pistachio, you will also find some unique flavors like rosemary pear, lemon sage, and Antonio’s signature flavor salted caramel. If you are a chocolate lover, don’t forget to try the mouth-watering ‘Catrame’ flavor made majorly with dark chocolate.
- My Sugar
If you want to taste some less traditional gelato flavors that are adventurous, pay a visit to My Sugar. This small but inviting gelateria near the San Lorenzo market is run by a young couple Alberto and Julia alongside Alberto’s sister Debora. 16 flavors are prepared daily from the fresh ingredients sourced from the famous San Lorenzo market nearby. You will observe Italian youth in the crowd going ga-ga over the innovative flavors prepared by the couple. Try their classic flavors like tiramisu and pistachio or order the unique best-selling flavors ‘Malaga’, prepared with sweet marsala wine and raisins in a cream base, and ‘Melacotta’, made of ricotta, apple, cinnamon, and honey. I’m glad to share with you that they also offer some vegan-friendly varieties. Do not forget to try Asian-inspired flavors like adzuki bean, black milk tea, and black sesame.
- Gelateria dei Neri
You will find the city’s most traditional gelatos in Santa Croce. This family-run gelateria has been named after the street it is located in. If you are a die-hard fan of chocolate, you must visit this place as they offer numerous chocolate variations in the form of dark chocolate, chocolate with orange, chocolate with hazelnuts, and many more to provide you a unique experience. Don’t forget to try pure caramel flavor for a punch of sweetness. If you are feeling adventurous go for ricotta with fig or chocolate with chili pepper.
- Gelateria La Carraia
Tasting a gelato flavor at a budget is what we all aim for. Fulfill that dream here at La Carraia with just a euro for a taster cone. You get a decent portion of flavors for the price you pay. It is a perfect spot for paying a visit before you hit the city’s hippest nightlife spots at Oltrarno. Though the place is always flooded with Italians, you can enjoy your scoop at a secluded bridge of Carraia. Soaking in the picturesque cityscape while slurping your favorite flavors would be the most relaxing activity while in Florence. Try the classic ones like pistachio and coffee or the unique ones like ricotta & pear and walnut & fig. Do not forget to try mint as they make the best mint in town. Also, their Biscottino flavor is super-yummy and hard to miss.
How can Italians miss a visit to the oldest gelato shop in Florence? Founded in 1930, the art of creating authentic gelatos has been passed on to the 4th generation. If you are visiting the main historical monuments of the city, don’t forget to enjoy the real taste of gelatos at Vivoli located just a few steps away from Santa Croce. Though Pistachio and chocolate with orange are a favorite of regular visitors here, you must try fantasia that contains chocolate, dried fruit, and cherries. You will be surprised to know that they do not offer cones so you can enjoy the true flavors of gelato directly from the cup.
- Gelateria Pasticceria Badiani
Established in 1932, Badiani is located just outside the historic city center in the neighborhood of Campo de’ Marte. Italians love the quality of handmade gelatos served here. This large high-end gelateria is designed to give you the perfect ambiance for a memorable experience. You will find an extensive variety of flavors prepared fresh daily. Along with the classics, don’t forget to try the house specialty Buontalenti gelato which is a creamy concoction of egg cream and chocolate.
However, while exploring the shopping streets in the city and the main historical center squares, you will also find plenty of shops serving mass-produced sweet mounds in the form of sugar cream, that tastes nowhere like the real thing!